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#81 devilsfan26

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 11:02 PM

If they've gotten this close and DON'T manage to hammer out an agreement, I will be ashamed to be a fan of a league run by these guys.
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#82 '7'

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 11:02 PM

it doesn't matter who blinks first, both sides are writing there victory speeches. Though Don thinks the Buttman lost already. I think what they'll settle on in the mid 40's is pretty damn good. Plus it's a short CBA.
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^7^ is just defending his sport sheeps.. as Alcibiades the exiled Athenian rationalizes in his speech to the enemy Spartans, he wants to take revenge on Athens because he loves it and can't stand to see the state it's in now - Triumph
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#83 PeteyNice

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 11:04 PM

http://www.tsn.ca/nh...y.asp?id=115048

Bettman rejects latest NHLPA offer

TSN.ca/CP

2/15/2005

It did not take long for NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to reject the NHLPA's latest offer.

In his reply to NHLPA executive director Bob Goodenow, Bettman said "If every team spent to the $49-million level, total player compensation would exceed what we spent last season, and our player compensation cost would exceed 75% of revenues. We can't afford that."

Bettman pointed out in his response that that the league's earlier offer represented a $75 million increase over what was previously on the table


Related Info
Bettman letter to Goodenow
Goodenow letter to Bettman
Two sides closer, but is there time?
Players surprised at salary cap move
Lawyers: PA offer may be impasse tactic

Bettman's response came after the NHLPA rejected the NHL's ''final offer'' and responding with a counter-proposal that featured a $49-million US team-by-team salary cap, down $3 million from its previous offer.

NHLPA executive director Bob Goodenow took just over four hours to turn down the league's offer of a $42.5-million salary cap, an offer Bettman warned did not warrant further negotiations.

''We wish that the NHL had offered a `no linkage proposal before yesterday so that negotiations in that arena could have commenced sooner,'' Goodenow wrote in a letter to Bettman. ''However, we recognize that they did not and we agree that time is short.

''In that spirit, and in a final attempt to reach an agreement, we are adjusting our offer of yesterday in two respects.''

Aside from dropping the cap to $49 million, the union also restructed the exception provision so that teams can only go over the cap twice during the six-year term and ''for up to only 10 per cent over the limit of $49 million (to $53.9 million), at the tax rate of 150 per cent.''

The rest of the luxury tax would work like this: 25 per cent on $40 million-$43 million, 50 per cent on $43 million-$46 million and 75 per cent from $46 million-$49 million. The deal also included a minimum payroll of $25 million.

Goodenow ended his letter Tuesday night by stating to Bettman: ''I can be reached at the usual phone numbers.''

The league's final offer Tuesday featured a $42.5-million cap, with a luxury tax of 50 per cent on payrolls from $34 million to $42.5 million.

Bettman said it was as good it got and had given the union until 11 a.m. EST Wednesday to accept it.

''This offer is not an invitation to begin negotiations - it's too late for that,'' Bettman wrote in a letter to Goodenow. ''This is our last effort to make a deal that's fair to the players and one that the clubs (hopefully) can afford.

''We have no more flexibility and there is no time for further negotiation.'' Industry sources insist both sides would likely live with a $45-million cap.

The league had no immediate reaction to the NHLPA's counter-proposal. The clock is ticking down to 1 p.m. EST Wednesday when Bettman is expected to cancel the season barring an agreement.

Offers from both sides during the last two days included a salary rollback of 24 per cent on all existing player contracts.

The NHLPA's previous offer Monday allowed provisions for teams to spend as much as 10 per cent more than that on three occasions in a six-year period. The luxury tax worked at 25 per cent on $40 million-$44 million; 50 per cent on $44 million-$48 million; 75 per cent on $48 million-$52 million; and 150 per cent on $52 million-$57.2 million.

The league's $42.5-million salary cap would be the figure for all six years of the new collective bargaining agreement.

Counting the 24 per cent rollback, four teams are currently over the $42.5-million figure and that's before signing any free agents. Detroit ($43.38 million), New Jersey ($46.32 million), Philadelphia ($50 million) and Toronto ($46.6 million) would be over. Dallas ($40.77 million) and Colorado ($40.27 million) would be on the bubble without signing anyone else.

The average team payroll last season, adding the salary rollback, would have been $33.95 million.

So the NHL's deal would definitely have a salary drag on the big spenders, but yet not to the point where owners would get ''cost certainty'' because the league dropped its long-standing demand of a fixed link between player costs and revenues.

''I know, as do you, that the `deal' we can make will only get worse for the players if we cancel the season - whatever damage we have suffered to date will pale in comparison to the damage from a cancelled season and we will certainly not be able to afford what is presently on the table,'' Bettman wrote in a familiar refrain used in recent weeks - basically a threat.

''Accordingly, I am making one final effort to reach out to make a deal that will let us play this season.''

The league counter-offer came around supper time on a tense day where facts were few but opinions were plentiful.

It appeared the door leading to a possible solution had finally started to open following a Monday night revelation that the NHLPA had changed direction at the final turn and offered to play under a $52-million salary cap.

The league, meanwhile, moved by proposing a $40-million salary cap with no ''linkage'' to revenue.

Each side rejected the other's offer but a major buzz was created in the hockey world. The last-minute change in negotiating strategy represents a quantum leap for both sides. The players have insisted a salary cap was a non-starter while the league has built its case around so-called cost certainty - linking player costs to revenue.

''The buzzwords are off the table now, it's a business discussion now not a philosophical argument and that's good,'' Devils GM Lou Lamoriello said from New Jersey.

Flyers player rep Robert Esche applauded Monday's developments.

''I'm sure not everybody is happy out there. I'm sure there's some players not happy with a hard cap and some owners not happy at not having linkage,'' he said.

''But hey, it's a give-and-take world. Now it seems we're just down to numbers.''

Monday's unexpected development probably surprised and unsettled many on each side. But the fact that both felt the pinch may also signify the two sides have finally found an area of compromise.

''Am I excited about a salary cap? No. But it's about trying to get a deal done,'' said Calgary star Jarome Iginla.

Richard Peddie, president and CEO of Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment, deflected a question about what the owners had given up by taking the linkage issue off the table.

''All I can tell you is that we've been kept apprised and we'd really like to play hockey this year,'' he said. ''But it has to be the right deal, even for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Even our revenues are drying up, believe it or not. We want a deal that's also good for the Leafs.''

Even if it is too late to save the season, the change in positions may still set the stage for a settlement that could pave the way for the entry draft and a more normal off-season.

McKee was concerned about how much harm a five-month-long lockout has had on the sport and its fan base.

''It's not so much that I'm angry that they offered a cap. I'm angry that why now?'' McKee said. ''Why not last June, last July?''

The surprising developments came during a secret meeting Monday in Niagara Falls, N.Y., between NHLPA senior director Ted Saskin and NHL executive vice-president Bill Daly.

Daly began the process by offering his cap figure without a fixed link between player costs and league revenues. The union countered with the $52-million salary cap per team and its rollback of 24 per cent on existing salaries.

The Philadelphia Inquirer and others reported Tuesday that Flyers centre Jeremy Roenick, along with Iginla, St. Louis's Chris Pronger and others, urged the union leaders to put a cap with no linkage on the table in a bid to save the season.

''I was involved with a group of NHL players who were trying to get to as many people as possible to come on board with a resolution that works for both sides,'' Roenick told the Inquirer. ''The proposal has to have a number that is not tied to revenues.''

But Iginla played down any role he may have had.

''I have talked to Pronger and Roenick but also to many guys around the league, because we're interested in what's going down,'' he told CP. ''But ultimately, it's the committee that's doing all this, not me. If people ask me my opinion, I'll give it, and I have.''

Iginla and Esche both shot down other reports saying the group of players actually had a proposal for the league.

The Monday developments could also have a major impact on the league's ability to declare legal impasse down the road if there's no deal and the season is cancelled. The union could perhaps argue to the U.S. National Labor Relations Board that there is no impasse in talks because the philosophical issue of a salary cap is no longer the deal-breaker.

The NHL is hoping to avoid becoming the first major professional league in North America to cancel a season from beginning to end.

''I'm extremely concerned,'' said Flyers captain Keith Primeau. ''The biggest thing that disturbs me is everyone's true misunderstanding of the fan base. You hear how certain people believe that the hardcore fan will definitely return, that the damage isn't irreparable.

''I think that's a huge miscalculation or judgment in error of who and what your fan base is. That, I think, is going to alarm a lot of people when the doors are re-opened.''

Through Tuesday, 834 of the 1,230 regular-season games have gone by the wayside.

If an agreement can still be reached, the league has a shortened schedule ready to go that would see teams play 28 regular-season games, playing only within their conference. The playoffs would stay the same.

''We probably could've gotten this thing done in the summertime,'' Chicago forward Matthew Barnaby said. ''Am I mad? No. I want to get back to work. But at the same time, I'm just a little disappointed that it went this far to play poker and to have someone call your bluff.''
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#84 Z-Man

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 11:05 PM

''We probably could've gotten this thing done in the summertime,'' Chicago forward Matthew Barnaby said. ''Am I mad? No. I want to get back to work. But at the same time, I'm just a little disappointed that it went this far to play poker and to have someone call your bluff.''



I hate Barnaby, but that's a fantastic quote about the whole mess.
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#85 Z-Man

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 11:10 PM

In his reply to NHLPA executive director Bob Goodenow, Bettman said "If every team spent to the $49-million level, total player compensation would exceed what we spent last season, and our player compensation cost would exceed 75% of revenues.  We can't afford that."


That's a pretty foolish comment by Bettman.....since we know from Don that EIGHTEEN teams would have been under the cap. There's a significant group of teams that would come nowhere near the cap.

EJ Hradek just made a good point that revenue sharing is more important than the salary cap at this point, since revenue sharing means more to the small market teams who couldn't turn a profit with small payrolls under the old system.
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#86 '7'

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 11:10 PM

ok, everybody knew Bettman would reject 49 mil.

he's foolish to dig in at 42. The next offer has to be 44-45.

so close!
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^7^ is just defending his sport sheeps.. as Alcibiades the exiled Athenian rationalizes in his speech to the enemy Spartans, he wants to take revenge on Athens because he loves it and can't stand to see the state it's in now - Triumph
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#87 NJDevs4978

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 11:12 PM

Damn, two Flyers make sense in one day :lol:

And Lou always makes sense, it's almost as if they were listening to him the other day considering in his WFAN interview he said he hated the buzzwords and lo and behold they were eliminated that night (though obviously the deadline had a lot more to do with it than anything else) :P
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#88 sheeps

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 11:13 PM

I hate to say it, but if Bettman doesn't cave tomorrow, I'll be pro-players. I've been staunchly pro-owners this entire battle, but the last PA offer is enough WAY more than enough. Take it, cut your losses, the end.
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#89 PeteyNice

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 11:13 PM

That's a pretty foolish comment by Bettman.....since we know from Don that EIGHTEEN teams would have been under the cap.  There's a significant group of teams that would come nowhere near the cap.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


You mean EIGHTEEN
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#90 Derek21

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 11:15 PM

Cmon. If he had any guts and really wanted to get this deal done, Bettman would cancel the 1 PM press conference and push it back another day. I think if you gave them one more full day, the impasse would be over. I just don't think there's enough time to get it done before Bettman's deadline.
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#91 Don

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 11:16 PM

If Bettman had any guts he would tell the union where to shove their offer and let them sit out another year or two.

This has got me completely f'n scared. The owners are caving. Bit by bit, they are caving and we're going to be in a worse mess than we started. Even at 42M, I think we are going to see the Penguins and Flames and Oilers all fall by the wayside.

Edited by Don, 15 February 2005 - 11:18 PM.

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#92 smelly

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 11:18 PM

Cmon. If he had any guts and really wanted to get this deal done, Bettman would cancel the 1 PM press conference and push it back another day. I think if you gave them one more full day, the impasse would be over. I just don't think there's enough time to get it done before Bettman's deadline.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Could not disagree more, Derek -- anybody who has ever negotiated anything knows that a firm (and credible) deadline is the only way anything gets done. Why do you think the NHLPA finall got off their salary cap position last night? Because of Bettman's setting the presser. Don't worry though -- there is plenty of time between now and 1 pm to get a deal done if that's what they intend to do 00 and I'm confident it will happen.
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#93 Triumph

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 11:19 PM

What? Don, don't be ridiculous. Everyone loses when that happens.

Derek, you wanted a drop-dead date and time, now you have one. It's not going to move unless Bettman wants it to. If he thinks the season and a workable CBA are in the cards, he will move it. Remember that Bettman has emphasized from the beginning that he wants a full CBA, able to be implemented, with all the paperwork processed.
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#94 '7'

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 11:20 PM

it's a game of chicken now, they're both moving fast because we're at the deadline. If this happened in october, the players would've dug in at 49, the owners at 42, and we would've stayed there for months, bitching about how close they are.

They both know the magic number, find the middle ground now!

if the NHLPA put out another offer at around 46 right now it would put a ton of pressure on Bettman, because the PA would've put 2 offers in a row out without a counter by the NHL.
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^7^ is just defending his sport sheeps.. as Alcibiades the exiled Athenian rationalizes in his speech to the enemy Spartans, he wants to take revenge on Athens because he loves it and can't stand to see the state it's in now - Triumph
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#95 smelly

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 11:20 PM

What?  Don, don't be ridiculous.  Everyone loses when that happens. 

Derek, you wanted a drop-dead date and time, now you have one.  It's not going to move unless Bettman wants it to.  If he thinks the season and a workable CBA are in the cards, he will move it.  Remember that Bettman has emphasized from the beginning that he wants a full CBA, able to be implemented, with all the paperwork processed.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Yep -- as far as I'm concerned, the 1 pm deadline is only for a deal in principle (regardless of what Bettman is saying). They will reduce it to writing over the next couple of days.
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#96 PeteyNice

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 11:21 PM

Another Letter
http://www.sportsnet...215_231051_1756


Dear Bob:

It was disappointing to receive the fax of your "final" offer.

We would have been prepared to propose and negotiate over a "de-linked" maximum team salary sooner, but the NHLPA had been consistent in stating that the players would never accept a salary cap. We only learned in the mediation process on Sunday that you would entertain such an offer, which is why we asked for a meeting yesterday and made the "de-linked" proposal.

If every team spent to the $49 million level you have proposed, total player compensation would exceed what we spent last season and, assuming for discussion purposes, there was no damage to the game, our player compensation costs would exceed 75% of revenues. We cannot afford your proposal.

Our offer of earlier today was a $75 million increase over the offer we made yesterday. I hope you will accept it, and that we can move forward and negotiate the myriad of other issues that need to be addressed.

Sincerely,

Gary B. Bettman
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#97 devilsrule33

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 11:22 PM

I wish Bettman set this drop dead date 1 month earlier so if they got a deal done we could have about 40 games to play.

Edited by devilsrule33, 15 February 2005 - 11:24 PM.

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#98 '7'

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 11:24 PM

If Bettman had any guts he would tell the union where to shove their offer and let them sit out another year or two.

This has got me completely f'n scared. The owners are caving. Bit by bit, they are caving and we're going to be in a worse mess than we started. Even at 42M, I think we are going to see the Penguins and Flames and Oilers all fall by the wayside.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


what does that tell you, looks like the they weren't as bad off as you once thought. I think Bettmans cabal has deteriorated somewhat, and pressure has been put on Goodenow as well.

did you really expect the owners to win this in a sweep? They'll both declare victory.

Edited by '7', 15 February 2005 - 11:24 PM.

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^7^ is just defending his sport sheeps.. as Alcibiades the exiled Athenian rationalizes in his speech to the enemy Spartans, he wants to take revenge on Athens because he loves it and can't stand to see the state it's in now - Triumph
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#99 Don

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 11:25 PM

Good. He told them where to shove it.

Triumph: Making a bad deal to save a worthless season isn't worth it. If we went through this whole thing to have a deal that won't keep the small markets competative and doesn't help restore the NHL to solvency then this was a big waste of time.
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#100 Derek21

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 11:25 PM

Right Don. Because all you care about is Edmonton, Calgary and the Penguins. Every team needs to be able to operate under a fair CBA. If they get to the magic number, great. Plus it will be a cap. Bettman will prevail. Something you just can't seem to understand.

Tri, I just don't think there's enough time left for them to get it done. I feel this all happened too late. I would love to be proven wrong.
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